Continuing Tradition

The shear amount of debate has sounded the death tollfor my ability to include jokes in these updates.  

Semi-Finals: THBT austerity is preferable to bankruptcy.  (You thought it was going to end with stimulus didn’t you.  We did too.  We were excited.  Then very very sad we lost the coin flip.)  Cal/Graham opposed perhaps thebest worded resolution in the history of parli debate.  Too specific for a metaphor, not specific enough to pin the gov down, and incredibly atrocious and horrific negground.  Yes at least half of prep time was bitching about the wording of this topic. 

Fortunately, the actor for the government was “the world” and the plan was “would prefer austerity to bankruptcy” and talk about how on balance, countries should choose austerity over bankruptcy.  Bankruptcy’s definition was “financial ruin” but they later said when a country declares bankruptcy is bailed out (i.e. doesn’t face financial ruin).  We decided not to ask clarification questions on the off-chance that they realized this was the only way we could win the round.  

Our strategy was counter cyclical spending is good and austerity kills social programs, democracy, and makes recessions worse.  Their response was that the US did deficit spending and still faced a recession.  We asked what the theoretical argument, without empirical examples, was for why austerity promotes growth.  Their response was, “Well its just a smart program to spend within your means.”  We then asked, “Sure its smart, why does it promote growth?”  They said, “Because maybe the government can spend more later then?”  The economist in me was not pleased they had skipped the works of Milton Friedman in their economics classes.  That man was a genius and/or the cause of massive genocides and totalitarian governments in Latin America.  Depends on who you ask.  

Update Post-Ballots: We won this round 3-0.  Oddly, this is the round we thought we most likely lost out of all the out rounds.  Our theory is that the shear weight of economic jargon convinced the judges that we knew what was up with bankruptcy (read: bailouts).  Also, our win empirically disproves there is no opp ground on this topic.  Which is odd because that statement is totally and completely false.   

Finals: The US should adopt a program of comprehensive penal reform.  

Naturally, we prepped the states counterplan for legalize marijuana.  CURVEBALL: Olaf abolished the death penalty instead.  We ran a counterplan to increase the pay of public defenders and let the accused file appeals based on lawyer incompetence and streamline the appeals process.  If they had asked what “streamlining” the appeals process means, my answer would have been of equivalent quality to the textbook definition of streamline, i.e. “to design or provide with a form that presents very little resistance to a flow of air or water, increasing speed and ease of movement.”

In the end, we went for deterrence and a political capital DA that started as Graham verbally durdling for 1.5 to 2 minutes and end up as Cal giving the most persuasive argument for a politics DA I have ever heard.  It sounded like an actual argument and not something to fill the time of the LOC.  

Despite this, the round was lost on a 2-1.  The two dropped ballots were on the perm is a great idea.  Considering the study we cited for deterrence turns out to be considered junk science by the NSF, it is understandable that the judges did not buy our argument.  However, we think in the round based on the flow we won the argument (even if it is not objectively true, but when can we ever really have objective truth inparli?  Answer: with internet access in prep time), we were winning that argument and getting something on the political capital DA.  They had cost saving and soft power with the EU advantages, which we essentially made fun of instead of actually debating.  Cal’s mocking: “If we abolish the death penalty, does not mean we become a happy go lucky world of human rights.”  Graham’s mocking: “We ARE the EU’s military.  We cannot be better friends with them.”  David would have been proud I’ve increased my jokes in parli debate to 2.  

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One Response to Continuing Tradition

  1. Laura says:

    Sounds like it was a hard-fought loss! Obviously getting to finals is really awesome in and of itself – plus there’s something to be said for consistency, no? Plus there’s something to be said for the victory in 1) Graham DOUBLING his jokes in parli debate in one round and 2) some combination of the two un-coached teams continuing to shut-out the final rounds in MN tournaments!

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